I caught up with Sieben Schwaben captain Philip Haas about what to expect out of his team at Windmill.
Sieben Schwaben 2013 is looking different from previous years. Experienced players stopped playing competitively or moved away from Stuttgart and decided to play with other teams. In the fall we set our main goal to integrate new players and to build a completely new Sieben Schwaben. Sieben Schwaben at Windmill will be a composition of a few familiar faces from the last years and a lot of new players.
Windmill has always been a highlight for us in the past: we’ve made quarters every time we’ve participated. In 2011 we had an unexpected appearance in the final, loosing to FAB. At the moment we plan to bring 18-20 guys.
He went on to tell me about Sieben Schwaben’s recent history around Europe.
We’ve done well over the last few years. In 2010 we made it to the finals of German Nationals and had our first appearance at the European Ultimate Championships Final (EUCF), where we ended up 11th. In 2011 we qualified for the second time and landed 12th. In the last two years we came in 4th at German Nationals… also not bad.
As a team we practice together during the fall and winter. From January on, we compete at the RNT (a regional league with other German teams like “Heidees” and “Bad Skid”). Traditionally the first big tournament of the year for us is the Hamburg Rumble in mid-April. Windmill in June is always the next step. Windmill always shows us how far we are in our preparation. Right after Windmill the tournament series of the German Championships start up. Nationals are held in mid-September. In addition to the national series we compete at the European Ultimate Championship Series.
Haas will be playing club in the United States this year. He told me a bit about his decision to jump the pond and how it came together.
With Sieben Schwaben as well as the German National team, I’m a captain. This is fine, and I actually think that I’m doing a pretty good job as a captain, but I always wanted to be on a team where I just have to focus on playing the game. I want to learn and get better as a player and we all know that the level of play in the States is higher than in Europe.
I played NexGen last year and had a lot of fun on the bus, but I realized that I want be a part of a real team that has a goal. NexGen was more about the show. Also, I have a lot of time off this summer because I graduated a few weeks ago. The next part of my education starts in February 2014, sowhat would be better than spending the summer playing ultimate?
Stefan Rekitt, the coach of the German National Team is the main reason why all this is happening. He was at US Nationals last year and had kind of an internship with Boston Ironside. He talked to their coach, Josh McCarthy, about my plans, and that led to finding a US team.